William C. DeVries (born November 19, 1943) is an American cardiothoracic surgeon, who performed the first successful permanent artificial heart implantation (on Barney Clark), using the Jarvik-7 model.
DeVries was the son of a Dutch immigrant father who served as a surgeon in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was born at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. His father, Henry DeVries, died in combat in 1944 aboard the destroyer USS Kalk during the Battle of Hollandia. DeVries became an Eagle Scout in his youth and a brother of the Sigma Chi Fraternity in college. DeVries was on the cover of Time magazine on December 10, 1984. He obtained his Bachelor's and MD degrees from the University of Utah, and then took an internship and became a resident at Duke University Medical Center.
In 2000, he joined the United States Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel, becoming at age 57 one of the oldest people to enter and complete the Officer Basic Course. After completion of that course, he was stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. teaching surgical residents there and medical students from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the George Washington University School of Medicine.
THE FORGOTTEN MAN HIS FAME TARNISHED BY FAILURES, WILLIAMS DEVRIES WATCHES WITH ENVY AS NEW GENERATION TAKES UP HIS QUEST FOR AN ARTIFICIAL HEART
May 08, 2001; LOUISVILLE, Ky. - He used to be the world's best-known heart surgeon, and maybe its best-known doctor. That was two decades ago...